Wednesday, 17 April 2013
I was working in the central area on Wednesday, although my meetings had been rescheduled because of the big ceremony.
It meant I wasn't right in the area when it was all happening, although I was back there for work soon afterwards. London seemed particularly quiet in the afternoon. Little traffic and not the surge of people that I'd expected.
It was the same as I crossed a surprisingly empty Trafalgar Square, well known as a rallying point.
A few people with a banner, some token barriers to protect the statues from spray painting and a smattering of people in high visibility vests to act as marshals, which I guess wasn't needed.
There's something about London's ability to handle big events and still continue its normal business. I'm quite used to the area around Westminster being fenced off and managed for all kinds of situations, from the basic walks of the Prime Minister to and from Parliament, to the Queen rolling past in a golden carriage.
It fact, we get used to dodging around barriers and even knowing where to walk to avoid the slow-moving tourists.
I was still surprised with the speed of the reset on Wednesday. By mid-afternoon, the cameras had come down, the barriers had been lifted and other routine London activities were in progress.
Back at Parliament, I could see people from both Houses chattering on the terraces in the afternoon sunshine. I walked past a noisy protest across the street from Downing Street, but it was related to Indian liberties.
A small troop of horses and soldiers passed me. Part of the Household Cavalry, routinely changing guard before returning to Buckingham Palace.
And then on Sunday the barriers and cameras all go up again, ready for the runners in the London Marathon.